BOISE — Don’t expect to see the Idaho State Capitol building lit up with rainbow colors during the 30th annual Boise Pride festival in June — or any events going forward.
Requests for special colors to light the face of the building during organization events will no longer be filled, according to the State Department of Administration, to avoid being associated with controversial or political events.
According to Dianne Blume, program specialist for the Department of Administration, to her knowledge the last time the Capitol was lit for an event was Boise Pride Festival in June 2018 — just before the decision was made to no longer allow lights.
"Because I had booked lighting for the Boise Pride event prior to that determination, we allowed for the June lighting," Blume wrote in an email. "We told them at the time, however, that it would be the last time we could accommodate their request."
The change came in June 2018, with an email from former director of the department, Bob Geddes, to Boise organizations including Boise Pride Fest, Boise State University, the Idaho New Year’s Commission, the Idaho Cancer Action Center and Marsy’s Law supporters.
Due to the high number of requests to light the Capitol exterior, Geddes said in the email, no applications will be accepted.
“We are becoming overwhelmed with applications and if some are approved, all must be allowed,” he wrote.
The email was sent to groups who had made requests in the past and thanked them for “helping retain the dignity of Idaho’s most-treasured building.”
The Boise Pride Festival has had vibrant colors illuminate the Capitol building for the last three years, according to an email with their newest request for lights sent on Jan. 15 from Joseph Kibbe, treasurer of Boise Pride Festival, to the department.
Blume responded to Kibbe on April 8 at the behest of current director Bryan Mooney, that the request would not be fulfilled.
She wrote the department receives a large range of requests of various colors to commemorate causes and occasions, which at times can be “construed as political and/or controversial.”
“So, rather than using our beautiful state capitol building as a projection screen and risk the impression that the state supports or condones the causes,” Blume wrote, “it was decided to eliminate colored lighting altogether and be consistent in applying the policy.”